Distributism and the Supremes

by John Médaille on December 3, 2011 · 3 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Short

My latest book was cited as an “authority” before the Supreme Court in Florida v. HHS, the “Obamacare” case. You can read the brief here, if you are bored. This should add to the work of some poor clerk.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Elias Crim December 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

This is a very hopeful sign and the book is indeed authoritative, both in its analysis and its much-needed theoretical updating of traditional economics. Congrats, John!

avatar Anymouse December 4, 2011 at 11:32 am

It is a good sign. It might be especially helpful for the case because it comes from a perspective other than an ordinary left right position.

avatar Siarlys Jenkins January 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

That’s rather sad… your work deserves better than to be cited in such a pathetically irrelevant brief. The constitutional question is not one of sound public policy, but one of congressional jurisdiction. Either congress has the power to do the thing in question, or it does not. If it does not, then it matters not a whit whether the act being challenged is sound public policy. If congress does have jurisdiction, then it is irrelevant to a constitutional challenge that it may not be such a good idea. That would be up to the legislature to correct.

Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce. In the days when medical care meant Doc Jones leaving his apple trees, saddling up his horse, and riding down the road because Sally just ran over to say that Ma is about to have her baby, there is no interstate commerce involved. Today, the provision of medical care is VERY MUCH a matter of interstate commerce, and therefore under congressional jurisdiction, not merely the jurisdiction of individual states, who are frankly too small and weak to stand up to interstate and international corporate power.

Whether congress made the right call about how to regulate this area of interstate commerce is worth debating — but it is not a constitutional question.

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